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Epidemic intelligence

Epidemic Intelligence encompasses activities related to early warning functions but also signal assessments and outbreak investigation. It aims to speed up detection of potential health threats and allow timely response.

Epidemic Intelligence can be defined as the process to detect, verify, analyze, assess and investigate public health events that may represent a threat to public health. Providing early warning signals is a main objective of public health surveillance systems.

The ECDC founding regulations specifies the mandate of ECDC regarding risk identification and risk assessment. Under this regulation, the Centre shall: 

  • Identify and assess emerging threats to human health from communicable diseases; 
  • Establish, in cooperation with the Member States, procedures for systematically searching for, collecting, collating and analysing information and data with a view to the identification of emerging health threats which may have mental as well as physical health consequences and which could affect the Community.


© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 2005 - 2014